How Idaho Springs plans to turn the Argo Mine Superfund site into a tourist attraction | SummitDaily.com

How Idaho Springs plans to turn the Argo Mine Superfund site into a tourist attraction

Mine and its buildings will anchor a new urban development planners hope will make the town an economic hub again

IDAHO SPRINGS, CO - MAY 10: This is the outside of the Argo Mill and old ore cars on May 10, 2017 in Idaho Springs, Colorado. In partnership with the Colorado Department of Health, The Environmental Protection Agency, The National Park Service, and The City of Idaho Springs, ARGO Holdings announced that they will be opening the Argo tunnel, an amazing piece of Colorado history, for tourism on May 17, 2017. The guided tours will educate visitors on the story of the entrepreneurs, industrialists, investors and miners who drove the 4.2 mile tunnel. The tunnel, in it's heyday connected over 200 miles of rich gold mines in and around Idaho Springs and Central City. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

IDAHO SPRINGS — At the end of the blasted, hard-rock tunnel is a bulkhead. Behind the wall — concrete and steel more than 3 feet thick — is almost 3 million gallons of water tainted by heavy metals. The words "do not open" are scrawled on the steel portal.

"That's some good advice right there," said Bob Bowland, a longtime Idaho Springs resident and councilman, his words echoing down the 12-by-12-foot stone shaft.

Back in the day, the Argo Tunnel ferried gold ore into one of the state's busiest mills and drained water from mines in the renowned "richest square mile on earth" around Central City.

Read the full story on The Denver Post website.